Bellona class cruisers

United Kingdom (1942-44)
HMS Bellona, ​​Black Prince, Royalist, Spartan, Diadem

WW2 British RN Cruisers

C class | Hawkins | D class | E class | HMS Adventure | County | York | Leander | Surrey | Arethusa | Perth | Town | Dido | Abdiel | Fiji (Crown Colony) | Bellona | Swiftsure | Tiger

The British AA cruisers, reloaded

These ships were derived from the previous “Dido” but with revised AA artillery, superstructures and lower funnels to clear their firing range. They shared the same hull, facilities, and same turrets, albeit the “C” one (uppermost) was removed for a 40 mm AA mount. These 5 ships were started between November 1939 and February 1940 and completed between 1943 (for the first four, HMS Bellona, ​​Black Prince, Royalist, Spartan) and early 1944 for Diadem. They served mainly as escorts in the North Atlantic. The only casualty of this class was HMS Spartan, sunk by a German guided Henschel Hs293 jet launched from a Dornier 17 on January 29, 1944. One of the first victims of an “anti-ship missile”… Their career continued years after the war: Diadem was sold to Pakistan in 1956 and became Babur, seeing action against India. Two more served under the Kiwi flag, one, Royalist being completely rebuilt and modernized.

Development

Most had been covered in lenght on the Dido class cruisers page. But here is an overview: The concept of an anti-aircraft cruiser was laid down in 1935, for convoy escort and fleet protection against the latest bomber generation, capable of high altitude and high speed. Emphasis was thus made on heavy guns and preferrably dual-purpose as the admiralty was uncomfortable seeing a cruiser completely devoid of artillery to face an incoming destroyer.

The Royal Navy at the time was developing the 4-inches as such DP gun, but it was judged too weak for antiship defence, so Vickers was contacted to work on such guns, in priority for the new King George V class Battleships as secondary battery, and if possible with a semi-automated reloading system to reduce the workload and increase rpm.
Work went on from 1931 prototypes on a 4-in (114 m) and by 1935 on a new gunhouse and twin cradle and by 1933 the Director of the Tactical Division (Captain Tom “thumb” Phillips, which in WW2 died in HMS Prince of Wales) wrote to the respective Home and Mediterranean fleets asking for a small 4,000 ton cruiser to replace WWI C and D classes in service for the 1935-37 schedule.

The Admiralty Board accepted the replacemment of C-D class cruisers but also wanted a cheaper alternative to the Arethusas. The CiC for the Mediterranean fleet wanted a destroyer flotilla leader and scout and rapid fire artillery to deal against destroyers.


Dido class plans.

In 1934, HMS Curlew and Coventry were the first modernized, converted as Anti-Aircraft cruiser only with 4-in DP guns and “pompom” and they were reported as as useful ships in the Abyssinian crisis. The Admiralty then leaned further towards a cruiser with heavier AA until agreement was reached by February 1935 for a C-D class replacement FY 1937-40. It was also determined that they needed ten DP guns as ideal for all situations. In the end, the 5.1 inches Dual Purpose gun under development for the King Goerges V class was chosen for them.
It was eventually enlarged and became the unique 5.25 inches gun but the initial twin mounts were just too complex and heavy, tests going on.

By June 1936 the new cruisers were fixed at a 5,300 tons design with ten 5.25” guns and “Dido” became the lead ship, sactioned by late 1936. They were based to gain time of the Arethusa class hull with the same main arrangements and the main work was to provide five wells for the artillery instead of three, and many other modifications.
Long story short, but the important point here is that these cruisers were not satisfactory during the war. Their AA dual purpose 4.25 inches guns were not up to expectations to say the least.
There were the issue of guns, but also of metacentric height, and many solutions and compromises were made to preserve stability. Despite this, they rolled heavily and made for not ideal gun platforms.

As for the guns, the rate of fire was far lower than expected, and plagued by the slow elevation and training speeds. Already average in 1935 they were found completely inqadequate against modern high-speed aircraft. Bottlenecks also prevented all turrets to be fitted, hence the four turrets only of the Bellona class as priority for these were the King Georges V class. In addition all these cruisers experienced torsion and “A” frequently jammed in service with many combat incidents reported in 1940-41.
However this was ultimately improved.


HMS Charybdis of the 3rd group (with Scylla) were rearmed with QF 4.5-inch guns and heavier light AA due to bottlenecks in delivering the 5.25 in guns.

If the first group entered service without their upper “C” turret completed by 4-inch guns, the second group received all five twin 5.25-inch turrets, the third however was plagued again by the lack of 5.25-inch guns and were given instead eight QF 4.5-inch (113 mm) guns in four twin turrets. They also had extended superstructure forward with to operate as flagships. They combined a high rate of fire with an efficient twin Director Control Tower (DCT) for best performances. This only concerned HMS Scylla and Charybdis. They also had ten 2-pounder.

The Bellona sub-class or 4th group differed from their predecessors, with the earlier eight 5.25-inch RP10 Mk II guns in four twin turrets. This was a modified design called “Improved Dido” and aimed at notably improving stability. They had only four twin main turrets, but remote power control was added for quicker elevation and training, as well as improved handling and storage for the ammunition. Light AA was considerably buffed up to six twin 20mm Oerlikons and three quadruple 40mm “pom pom”.
Other modifications consisted in a bridge lowered by one deck compared to reduce topweight and a full radar control fitted for the 5.25-inch turrets and 2-pounder guns. Better still, at this stage, they could be equipped with the HACS high angle fire control system and they had lowered upright funnels instead of tall, raked ones.
In the end, they became the best of the “Didos” and excellent AA cruisers that served their purpose, replacing the C-D class cruisers as initially planned.
Their career was not gamorous however, being in escorts all their career, but their AA defence proved up to the task against the Luftwaffe especially in the northern route convoys to Russia as well as in the Mediterranean.

Design of the class

Hull and general design


HMS Black Prince in 1944, showing her lower bridge, modified funnels among others.
Their hull was still the same as for the Dido class of previous three groups, itself derived from the 1933 design of the Arethusa class, a cheaper alternative to the Leanders with only three main gun turrets instead of four. The biggest change was in their general superstructure design. The lowering of the bridge from one deck was a considerable improvement, even meaning the removal of “C” turret. This was more than compensated by the far better fire control system that can be installed due to this saved weight.
All the previous solutions given by the engineers to redice top weight were kept such as the Welding of the forward sections instead of riveting, a reduced number of shells, copper piping instead of heavier steel, ho handing room between magazines and turrets and no spare gun barrels aboard.
They also had non raked tripod masts and a more exhaustive radar suite. They retained the two torpedo tubes banks aft, and had three main pompom octuple mounts, one instead of “C” mount, two forward and abaft of the aft funnel. All deck space available was crammed with twin 20 mm AA guns.

Still they ended heavier than the previous Didos, at 5,950 tons standard and 7,200 tons full load versus 5,521/7,081 long tons, but it was increased a bit in WW2.
Dimensins were exactly the same with a length of 485 ft (148 m) between perpendicular and 512 ft (156 m) overall, and a beam of 50.5 ft (15.4 m) but they were “deeper” from 16 ft 10 in (5.1 m) on the Didos deep load to 17 ft 9 in (5.4 m).

Protection

It was inherited from the Arethusa class and consisted in the following as designed; 1 inch to 3 inches as magazine box protection, 2.25 inches for the belt, 1 inch for the armoured deck, turrets and bulkheads.
However when completed it showed some differences:
-The Belt was a bit thicker at 3-inches (76 mm), with transverse bulkheads of 1.1 inch (25 mm) thick
-The dual purpose turrets protected by 0.5 inches (13 mm).
-The armor deck by 1.1 in (25 mm) of armour overall, reaching (2 inches) 51 mm over the the steering gear and ammunitions magazines.
-Engine compartimentation was in four separate rooms for ASW protection plus sides extra compartimentation and part double bottom.
The 3 inch belt was abreast the engineering spaces and enclosed as seen by one inch for the horizontal deck above, and and transverse bulkheads on both ends of the citadel. An extra 2 inch deck covered magazines enclosed by one inch longitudinal bulkheads fitted abreast. The turret’s one inch protecting walls was increased forward to 1.5 inch plating. The steering gear was entirely enclosed by one inch sides and deck. All that design scheme was deemed sufficient for engineers to deal with with 6 inch (so light cruiser) gunfire. It was permitted by the weight saving measures taken in general, and participated to the overall stability of the hull.

Powerplant

The powerplant was still based on the Arethusa class but with modern high pressure boilers. They had four propeller shafts, four Parsons steam turbines and four Admiralty 3-drum boilers for a total output of 62,000 shp (46,000 kW). As usual against flooding there were alternating boiler and engine rooms. Four turbo-generators rated for 1,200 Kwh were neded to power the turret’s elevation and traverse as well as all the AA onboard.
Top speed was 32.25 knots (59.73 km/h; 37.11 mph), range of 4,850 nmi (8,980 km; 5,580 mi) at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph). Like the Didos, the Bellona class reached their designed speed and proved as agile but more stable as gun platforms. However they were still judged too short to go through waves and tenbed to ride them, albeit better due to the ower metacentic height. They were also responsive at the helm. All in all, the best Didos as initially intended.

Armament

Main: 4×2 5.25″/50 (13.4 cm) Mark I

Studied from 1935, the prototype was installed on Iron Duke in 1939. It was produced from 1940 and used by the King George V, Dido, Spartan, Lion and Vanguard Classes. 340 rounds were carried. Working Pressure was 20.5 tons/in2 (3,230 kg/cm2) and approximate Barrel Life was 750 rounds. See the Dido class history for more.

⚙ specifications 5.25″/50 (13.4 cm) Mark I
Weight 9,616 lbs. (4,362 kg)
Barrel lenght 275.5 in (6.998 m)
Elevation/Traverse -5/+70 degrees, c280°
Loading system Semi auto
Muzzle velocity 2,672 fps (814 mps)
Ceiling 70° 46,500 feet (14,170 m)
Range 45° 23,400 yards (21,397 m)
Guidance HACS fire control and radar height finding
Crew 12
Round SAP Mark IC/SAP Mark II (80 lbs/36.3 kg), HE (same)
Rate of Fire 7-8 rpm

Full specs on navweaps

AA


A four barreled Pompom 2-pdr mount.
A completed it was decided to have them fitted with six dual 20 mm AA guns, three quadruple 2-pounder (40 mm) “pom-poms”. Octuple mounts were judged too heavy and space was lacking. That still made for 12 pompom. As said above the two Vickers 2-pdr mounts were located in a triangle, one instead of “C” gun position forward in front the bridge, and two abaft the aft funnel. The first had an excellent arc of fire albeit limited at 0° forward by the “B” turret. Behind it was located the forward light AA fire control director.
Full specs here.
This is to compared to the original two quadruple 2-pdr (40 mm (1.6 in)) AA guns and four twin 0.5 in (12.7 mm) AA machine guns of the Didos.
This was buffed up considerably later during the war (see later).


Dual Orlikon, of the type used aboard. This twin barrel arrangement was no more larger than the original one-barrel. Full specs here.

Torpedo Tubes

They were completed at the insistence of the admirakty with two triple 21-inch (530 mm) torpedo tubes banks, located on deck, abaft the funnel, close to the two popomp mounts.
They fired the standard Whitehead 21″ (53.3 cm) 1928 Mark IX/IX*/IX** developed from cruisers from the Leander class onwards. Note

⚙ specifications 21″ (53.3 cm) IX**

Weight 3,732 lbs. (1,693 kg)
Dimensions 23 ft 10.5 in (7.277 m)
Propulsion Burner-cycle, 264 hp @ 41 knots
Range/speed setting 11,000 yards (10,050 m)/41 knots or 15,000 yards (13,700 m)/35 knots
Warhead 805 lbs. (365 kg) Torpex (1944)
Guidance Initial setting, straight run.

Sensors

The Didos had a Type 128 ASDIC for ASW detection (albeit she lacked depht charges) and her main detection system was the initial Type 279 early-warning radar.
The later Bellona class had the following:
Type 272 radar: Small 70 kw surface search radar developed from the 271. Frq 2950 ±50 MHz (S-band), PRF 500 pps bmwt 8.6º horizontal, 85º vertical, pwt 1.5 µs RA 11 NM (20.4 km)
Type 281 radar: Early-warning 1 MW radar Frq 86–94 MHz bmt 35° pwt 2–3 μs/15 μs RA 115 nmi (213 km; 132 mi) alt.30k feet (9,100 m).
3x type 282 radars: Light AA 25 kW fire control radars, UHF-band, using Yagi antennas. RA 3.5 NM (6.5 km)
Type 284 radar: Surface surveillance long range, 12,000 yards for a destroyer, 20,000 yards for a cruiser but it had poor resolution for range and bearing.
2x type 285 radars: Main 25 kW anti-aircraft gunnery radar, Frq 600 MHz bwt 18°/43°, pdt 2 μs RA 18,000 yd (16,000 m) alt. 15,000 ft (4,600 m) prec. 150 yd (140 m)

Upgrades

In 1944 Black Prince received two single 40/56 Bofors Mk I/III, and two more twin 20mm/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, plus ten single 20mm/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV
By April 1945, Bellona received eight 20mm/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV six on Diadem but two twin Mk II/IV.
Later in 1945 Black Prince received two more single Orlikon and six single 40mm/56 Bofors Mk III (total eight Bofors, twelve Pompom, 26 Oerlikon)
No changes were made to their radar suite.
Those sold aboard postwar were solidly upgraded.

HMS Bellona 1939 specifications

Dimensions 156 m x 15,40 m x 5,4 m (fully loaded).
Displacement 5950 t. standard -7350 tonnes Fully Loaded
Propulsion 4 shaft Parsons turbines, 4 Admiralty bolers 62,000 shp.
Performances 32.5 knots, Range 10,000 nautical at 14 knots.
Armament 8 x 133 mm DP (4×2), 12 x 40 mm Bofors Pom Pom (3×4), 6 x 533 mm TTs
Armor Belt 75 mm, turrets 60 mm, ammunition magazines and citadel 120 mm.
Crew 530

Read More/Src

Books

Conway’s all the world’s fighting ships
Brown, D. K. & Moore, George (2003). Rebuilding the Royal Navy: Warship Design Since 1945. NIP
Campbell, John (1985). Naval Weapons of World War Two. NIP
Friedman, Norman (2010). British Cruisers: Two World Wars and After. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing.
Lenton, H. T. (1998). British & Empire Warships of the Second World War. NIP
Murfin, David (2010). “Damnable Folly? Small Cruiser Designs for the Royal Navy Between the Wars”. Warship 2011.
Raven, Alan; Lenton, H. T. (1973). Dido Class Cruisers. Ensign. Bivouac Books.
Raven, Alan & Roberts, John (1980). British Cruisers of World War Two. NIP
Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939–1945: The Naval History of WW2 (3 Revised ed.). NIP
Whitley, M. J. (1995). Cruisers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. London: Cassell.

Links

Bellona

Videos

Model Kits

Noe found so far.

Royal Navy ww2 HMS Bellona


HMS Bellona was completed and commissioned on 29 October 1943, and spend the first months training, then soon was thrown into action in the most diffcult assignment, as took part in several Arctic convoys towards the USSR, before and after D-Day. She was part of the Channel patrol by early 1944, replacing her near-sister Charybdis, sunk by torpedo boats in the Battle of Sept-Îles. On arrival at Plymouth she received a new radio jammer to defeat German controlled gliding bombs. She led seven destroyers adn so wash soon nicknamed “Snow White and the seven dwarfs”.
They were anchored by day at Plymouth Sound, providing local air defence but sailed out by night, maintaining radio and radar silence and then raced towards the French coast to deter any sortie of the Narvik-class destroyers, then back by daylight. During the day, the RAF would deter the same destroyer to sail out.

On 6 June 1944, D-Day, HMS Bellona was sent as AA defence in support of the US sector at Omaha Beach, placed close to the US battleships USS Texas and USS Arkansas under command of Rear admiral Carleton F. Bryant. She also was directed to fire inshore at air spotted targets of opportunity, or with data provided by off-shore observation officers. She fired so many rounds that she was redirected to Plymouth to resupply and change her worn out barrels. At night she still provided supporting fire until the size of the brdgehead made it dangerous for blue on blue.
In July 1944 she sailed out for a carrier raid against the KMS Tirpitz off Norway. In August she was back at Porsmouth, preying German convoys in the Bay of Biscay and off the Brittany coast.
However she was sent back to Murmansk convoys until the end the war, but also detached to escort carrier and cruisers patrolling along the Norwegian coastline before.
She sailed to Copenhagen to assist to the German surrender in May 1945.
Postwar, she was not scheduled to join the BPF (British Pacific Fleet) and instead spend months with the 10th Cruiser Squadron, until 1946 and then loaned to the Royal New Zealand Navy.
As RNZN Bellona she trained in March April 1947 with the Royal Australian Navy havnng a casualty during a a gunnery practice (Gordon Patten). She was based on Devonport, Auckland by late April, her crew on leave for Anzac Day. She was not involved in the mutiny but personnel were concerned about the treatment of their collegues and about 100 demonstarted in Quay Street, Auckland, not returning on board and later joined by 40 more. Eventually the captain sent the full crew on leave for the weekend.

On Monday 28 April the mutineers presneted their demands to the captain to forward them to the Naval Board. The latter however declared that all sailors needed to be on duty on 29 April or would be marked as Absent Without Leave. 52 men did not returned and were marked as desertors despite more lenient regulations, loosing all pay and allowances plus earning arrest warrants until the captain decided against. On 23 June, 32 men returned, charges laid against them, and some were sentenced to prison up to 92 days.
In 1951 Bellona took part in a multinational exercise in Australian waters when a Hawker Sea Fury from HMAS Sydney accidentally fired four practice rockets her. Fortunately there was minor damage. It was later proved that certain signal frequencies transmitted by Sydney’s radios could trigger the firing circuits.
In 1952 she had her twin Oerlikons replaced with Mk 3 single Bofors with the Toadstool CIWS system later found also on HMNZS Black Prince, controlling the six STD directors. The RN rejected the Toadstool as non-standard and she reverted to RN control after transfer of HMNZNS Royalist in 1956. Decommission on June 1957, stricken, she sent on 5 February 1959 to Thos. W. Ward to be broken up.

Royal Navy ww2 HMS Black Prince


HMS Black Prince was commissioned on 30 November 1943 and after some training she was rushed in January to the Arctic convoys. In June she was prepared for D-Day, making offensive sweeps against German coastal convoy traffic. By the night of 25-26 April 1944 while escorted by Canadian destroyers, she took part in a battle off Britanny, sinking the torpedo boat T29, damaging T24 and T27.
Battle of île de Batz:
Called the “action of 25-26 april” it occured off Jentilez, off Britanny as a part of Operation Tunnel, destroyer sweeps along the coast of Brittany before Operation Overlord. The accompanying destroyers were Tribal-class HMS Ashanti, HMCS Athabaskan, HMCS Haida and HMCS Huron. They spotted Elbing-class torpedo boats T24, T27 and T29 off the île de Batz. Given their combined firepower, these TBs had no chance. T29 was destroyed, sank with 135 men and the other were badly damaged, after withdrawing under smoke. T29 managed to land two hits on Haida and Huron while Haida and Ashanti collided at the end of the action.

The Normandy landings saw Black Prince with Force “A”, Task Force 125, Utah Beach with USS Nevada, the cruisers USS Quincy, USS Tuscaloosa, and the monitor HMS Erebus, plus several destroyers and destroyer escorts. She was tasked to hit the battery at Morsalines.
By August she was sent to the Mediterranean for Operation Anvil, Southern France. She patrolled afterwards the Aegean waters by September 1944 and on the 8th was based in Alexandria for a sweep around Scarpanto and the Gulf of Salonica, also shelling the German controlled airfield at Maleme in Crete.
On 21 November 1944 she crossed the Suez Canal into the Red Sea, Indian Ocea and amde it to Colombo, Ceylon on 30 November to join the East Indies Fleet for the last carrier raids over Sumatra and Malaya as part of Operation Meridian.
On 16 January 1945, she was passed on to the British Pacific Fleet and saw action off Okinawa (demonstrating her AA qualities against kamikaze) and took part in the final shore operations in the Japanese home island and Kyushu in the summer. By September she was in Hong Kong for the surrender of Japanese forces.

She was transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy on 25 May 1946. In 1947 her modernisation was cancelled after mutinies and she was placed in reserve. She was reactivated and modernized by January 1952, with two Pom Pom removed but she gained 8 RNZN 40 mm Toadstool CIWS replacing the twin 20mm Oerlikons. She was recommissioned by February 1953 and was at the Fleet Review for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. She was decommissioned in August 1955 and after the 1957 British Defence White Paper, reduced to 3rd class reserve, then accommodation ship, sent back to the RN and disposed of after the loan. Instead the RNZN gained the modernized Royalist (see below).

Royal Navy ww2 HMS Royalist


Following her commission on 10 September 1943 HMS Royalist had months working up and spent time in the yard to correct trial defects and alterations, she was notably modified as a carrier flagship. By March 1944 Royalist she joined the Home Fleet and was sent like her sisters to escort Arctic convoys. She took part in Operation Tungsten by April 1944 against Tirpitz in Norway and became flagship of Rear Admiral Arthur La Touche Bisset, Force Two (five carriers). Afterwards she was in drydock for a refit until June, and missed D-Day but she was sent to the Mediterranean for Operation Dragoon in southern France by August, as flagship, Rear Admiral Thomas Hope Troubridge with the allied Task Force 88 (TG88.1/TG88.2) for air superiority over the beaches and latter support inland.
Next she was ordered to join the Aegean Force to prevent german evacuation from the Aegean Islands. On 15 September with HMS Teazer she spotted the German transports KT4 and KT26 off Cape Spatha and sank them. She stayed in the area until late 1944 and was refitted in early 1945 at Alexandria before being sent to join the East Indies’s Eastern Fleet.
By April 1945 she escorted the 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron, still operating as flagship for the Rangoon landings, Operation Dracula.
On 10 May she took part in Operation Mitre a foray to find Japanese warships evacuatiing troops in Nicobar and Andaman. She also covered carrier raids against targets in the East Indies and Sumatra.
Postwar, she was leased to the RNZN, but an agreement was eventually made for a full modernization, after which she joined the RNZN as flagship from 1955 until sold for scrap and towed to Nisshon Co, Japan, by November 1967.
See the full article

Royal Navy ww2 HMS Spartan


HMS Spartan was the first of the Bellona class commissioned, at Devonport on 10 August 1943, under command of Captain P.V. McLaughlin. That’s why many publications points out as the “spartan class” instead. The keel laying down date was used instead as she was the last laid down, on 21 December 1939.
Initially she was scheduled to join the Eastern Fleet. But she was maintained with the Home Fleet, working-up at Scapa Flow. By 17 October 1943, she left Plymouth for the Mediterranean via Gibraltar and Algiers and reached Malta on 28 October 1943. She was off Taranto with the 15th Cruiser Squadron on 8 November.
On the night of 18–19 January 1944 she was part of a diversionary bombardment in the Terracina area, with HMS Orion and four destroyers. They provided support for the Garigliano River Operations. Shore batteries were never threatening and she fired 900 rounds.
Next she took part in Operation Shingle, at Anzio from 22 January 1944 with Orion and again was in gun support. She was back to Naples to remain available and being resupplied.


Spartan bombarding enemy shore positions as the landing craft of the U.S. 5th Army close in on the beaches in the opening stages in the battle for Rome. Smoke can be seen rising from the beachhead.

On 27 January she joined CTF 81 off Anzio for AA cover. On 29 January the Luftwaffe started a glide bomb attack finding Spartan anchored. Smoke was ordered on all ships capable of laying it, but the wind was not favourable and it was not fully effective in time. Spartan smokeed from stem to stern wih the storng beeze had her uncovered. Her machinery was cold so there was no way to move.
Then 18 bombers approached from the north, after circling over land thay started a beam attack against ships silhouetted against the afterglow. Conversely the defenders were blinded. The attack was not picked by the radar due to land echoes and few were on watch to really spot them.
Between the warning and smoke, an all crews available on deck manning AA guns, firing in the general direction of the attack, six bombs had been dropped, falling into the water. At 18:00 a radio-controlled Henschel Hs 293 glide bomb went though the AA screen (she was rocket propelled to 850 ft/s or 933 kph), hitting Spartan aft of the aft funnel, detonating in the compartments abreast the port side of the after boiler room. This resulting in a large hole in the upper deck. The HS 293 carried indeed a 295 kilograms (650 lb) which was torpedo size. The violence of the detonation blew
main mast which collapsed whereas the boiler rooms were quickly flooded., all power being lost and a wild fire started as she heeled over to port. Still she remained afloat for one hour until abandoned, and settled on her beam ends under 25–30 ft (7.6–9.1 m) of water. In all, 5 officers and 41 ratings were killed or missing, 42 ratings wounded. The rest was rescued. This was one of the first kills ever by an ancestor of antiship missiles. Earlier in September 1943, the same destroyed the battleship Roma.

Royal Navy ww2 HMS Diadem


HMS Diadem was commissioned the last on 6 January 1944 and she spent her first weeks of training before being sent to the Arctic convoys and and covered a carrier raid against Tirpitz in April 1944. By June she was part of Force G, Juno Beach off Normandy. After the landings she patrolled against German shipping around the Brittany coast. During one of these missions she spotted and sank Sperrbrecher 7 off La Rochelle on 12 August.

By September and all winter she was back to the punishing Russian convoys, alternated with more carrier raids along the Norwegian coast or sweeps to the fjords. While operating with HMS Mauritius on 28 January 1945 she spotted and engaged three German destroyers. She managed to badly maul Z31 before they fled into the smoke. HMS Diadem remained with the 10th Cruiser Squadron and Home Fleet until 1950, then was placed in reserve from 1950 until 1956. She was to have a more extensive modernisation than HMS Royalist but it was canceled in 1954. The subsequent transfer of Diadem to Pakistan arranged by First Lord Mountbatten in 1955 was to balance HMS Nigeria neing purchased by India. The official announce was made on 29 February 1956, she was refitted at Portsmouth and later became Babur on 5 July 1957.
There will be a future decicated post on the subject. She saw action, was renamed Jahanqir and broken up in 1985.

The post Bellona class cruisers appeared first on naval encyclopedia.

Next Post

Recommended